Deadly snow storm hits India, Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Jetstream over the Indian Subcontinent courtesy

h/t Argiris Diamantis

Back on 3rd Jan I wrote:

Quite a cold wave over India: on 30/12 Delhi had a new Dec low of 9.4C, some 11.4C below the normal & far less than the 11.3C previous record from Dec 97 (records since 1901), beating the coldest ever recorded temp from Jan 2013 of 9.8C + was 2nd coldest Dec on record (1997 coldest). Whilst Delhi temps might not sound much to us, remember the houses are not insulated for such low temps as we also find in Australia, for example. Karachi, Pakistan recorded its coldest Dec in 17 years + “National Forecasting Centre Director Zaheer Babar said on [1/1/20] that Skardu broke a 40-year record after reporting the lowest temperature, -20.7 degrees Celsius, during Dec 2019. “Previously, the lowest the temperature had fallen in Skardu was -17.2 degrees Celsius in 1961. In Dec 2018, the temperature was -13.6 degrees Celsius, -9 degrees Celsius in Dec 2017 and -10.2 degrees Celsius in Dec 2016.” Whilst now abated, temps are due to lower again over the Ind/Pak region in the coming days.

Sadly it appears the same weather system that recently caused flooding in Europe and the snow in snow in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia has brought further misery and led to many deaths in the Indian subcontinent:

Updated: Jan 14, 2020 23:35 IST

At least 12 people, including a Border Security Force (BSF) constable and five army personnel were killed in separate avalanches in the Kashmir valley following heavy snowfall, officials said on Tuesday.

The valley has been witnessing snowfall and heavy rains since Sunday which triggered a series of avalanches on Monday in north and central Kashmir.

There was unprecedented snowfall in north Kashmir, particularly in Sadhna in Tanghdar (Kupwara district), Z-Gali in Machil (Kupwara district), and Razdan in Gurez (Bandipora district). These areas are covered under 10 feet of snow.

Whilst unclear it does appear this was an unusual event [emphasis added]

Deadly snow storm hits Afghanistan, Pakistan

January 13, 2020, 9:52 PM GMT

At least four avalanches struck north Kashmir’s frontier district of Kupwara, close to Line of Control (LoC), on Monday.

More than 54 people are dead after a mix of heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods hit parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On Monday, authorities struggled to reopen highways and evacuate people, according to the Associated Press, with some parts of Afghanistan buried in up to six inches of snow.

In Pakistan, most of the deaths have been attributed to the collapse of roofs amid heavy snowfall. In Afghanistan, flash floods have destroyed at least 131 residential homes.

While Kabul’s snowy period can last from the beginning of December to the end of March, accumulation tends to be very low. At its snowiest, Afghanistan’s capital typically gets about 9mm of snow per day, making the recent snowfall much more significant.

Dozens killed as heavy snow & rain hits Pakistan, triggering AVALANCHES
14 Jan, 2020

Dozens of people have been killed and many are reported missing after heavy snow and rain hit Balochistan, Pakistan and Pakistani-held region of Kashmir. Bad weather caused traffic disruption on key highways.
In Pakistani-held Kashmir, extreme winter weather claimed at least 57 lives in one day, government officials said, as cited by Reuters. Avalanches stranded many villagers in the region’s Neelum Valley following heavy rain that also triggered landslides. Scores have been reported missing and are feared dead.

Pakistan’s Balochistan province has been hit hard as well; 17 people are reportedly dead after heavy snowfall destroyed several houses. The severe weather also paralyzed highways and led to power outages, as emergency workers scrambled to provide assistance to those trapped in snow-hit areas.

One video shows Red Crescent volunteers trying to help stranded motorists.

Photographs posted on social media reveal villages covered in snow. Aircraft were grounded in Balochistan’s capital Quetta, local media reported. Airport authorities said that they lacked necessary equipment to de-ice planes and clear the runways.

Grave winter conditions caused fatalities in neighboring India and Afghanistan as well.

At least 10 people were killed in several avalanches that hit Indian-held Kashmir. Afghan authorities blamed severe cold weather conditions and heavy snow for causing the death of 39 people in the past two weeks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.